When people hear the name “Center for Global Studies,” their immediate thought may not be children–I have to admit, mine wasn’t either. Luckily, I’ve been pleasantly surprised to learn about all of the great outreach events for children that the Center sponsors. As you can read on our website, “Part of the mission of the Center for Global Studies is to partner with schools in Pennsylvania in order to develop ways to enhance global perspectives in K-12 classrooms. The CGS will provide annual funding for K-12 teachers to incorporate and expand the presence of global studies in their curricula.” It has been my pleasure to get involved with some of this K-12 outreach throughout my semester as a CGS intern; it’s perfect because I hope to live abroad and work as an English and American cultural studies teacher after graduation.
I’ve been most involved with CGS’s partnership with the Young Scholars of Central Pennsylvania Charter School (YSCP). A public charter school located right here in State College, YSCP promotes global education through classroom learning as well as their after-school Extended Day program. This fall I’ve had the amazing opportunity to lead my own club as part of this program. Every Wednesday, I teach two one-hour sessions on German language and culture (perfect for me because I’m a German major!). I look forward to each meeting; I love seeing the kids learn about another culture–from games and songs to famous events like Oktoberfest, not to mention a lot of German vocabulary thrown in there. Other clubs being taught by CGS staff this semester include World Cultures and Mythology & Folklore.
In addition to the Extended Day volunteer work, the Center for Global Studies runs many other K-12 outreach programs, including a yearly teachers’ workshop (coming up this November) and World Stories Alive!, a multilingual storytelling event that takes place Saturdays from January to April. This fall, we even made an appearance at two fall festivals in State College and Bellefonte, presenting a booth about mehndi, the art of henna. As a future teacher with an interest in international studies, my internship with the Center for Global Studies has provided me with so many great opportunities to utilize my skills and interests. Find more information about the Center’s outreach programs here.